Pig rooting in lowland rainforests: where, when and what does it do?

Elledge, A. E., Gordon, I. J., McAlpine, C. A. and Murray, P. J. (2008). Pig rooting in lowland rainforests: where, when and what does it do?. In: Proceedings of the 14th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference. 14th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference, Darwin, Australia, (159-159). 10-13 June, 2008.

Author Elledge, A. E.
Gordon, I. J.
McAlpine, C. A.
Murray, P. J.
Title of paper Pig rooting in lowland rainforests: where, when and what does it do?
Conference name 14th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference
Conference location Darwin, Australia
Conference dates 10-13 June, 2008
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 14th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference
Publication Year 2008
ISBN 978-0-9804999-1-9
Start page 159
End page 159
Total pages 1
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are a significant invasive species in Australia as the disturbance caused by their rooting (underground
foraging) activities alter ecological and biological processes which are important for ecosystem functioning. There
are numerous studies that have investigated ecosystem relationships or the response of individual environmental variables
to pig rooting, but there is a paucity of information providing a link between these two fields of literature. This study is
investigating microhabitat variables that may explain spatiotemporal variations in the selection of patches for rooting by feral
pigs and is assessing how specific habitat variables interact in response to pig rooting.
Six sites (N=120, 1x1 m plots) were surveyed for pig rooting and selected habitat variables, including soil compaction,
soil micro-contours, soil moisture, rock cover, earthworm frequency, seedling recruitment, and the frequency of plant types.
The initial data set was collected in the early-wet season, and seasonal sampling will continue bimonthly for one year,
excluding the mid-wet season.
Initial observations suggest soil compaction, soil moisture, soil texture, and rock cover will be useful variables for predicting
pig rooting. Preliminary findings indicate that pig rooting significantly increases soil compaction which leads to changes in
the frequency of plant types, that is, an increase in vines and shrubs and a decrease in sedges and grass. This information
will be used to develop a predictive model on the occurrence of feral pig rooting in lowland rainforests to provide a better
understanding of spatiotemporal variations in pig rooting. This will allow pig control programs in the Wet Tropics World
Heritage Area to focus their efforts and reduce the impact of feral pigs in rainforests.
Subjects 0501 Ecological Applications
Keyword Feral pigs
Sus scrofa
Lowland rainforests
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Published online.

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Created: Fri, 26 Feb 2010, 14:07:36 EST by Tara Johnson on behalf of Faculty Of Nat Resources, Agric & Veterinary Sc